USDA Rural Development Celebrates Homeownership Month


Daniels, WV – July 4, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — Mary Robertson can hardly contain her excitement as she talks about the new improvements to her home near Beckley. Mrs. Robertson qualified for low-interest loan funds and a grant through USDA Rural Development’s rural housing programs earlier this year.

Mrs. Robertson has lived in her home for nearly 30 years. In 2009, Mrs. Robertson’s husband was diagnosed with cancer and passed away in 2011. Medical expenses nearly depleted her savings. Late last winter, Mrs. Robertson approached Community Action of Southeastern West Virginia (CASE) about some weatherization improvements to her home. They made some improvements and referred her to USDA Rural Development to determine if she would be eligible for funds to support new windows and siding. She began working with Stephen Wetherbee, Area Director for USDA Rural Development located in the USDA Service Center in Beckley. Mr. Wetherbee said, “We were glad to be able to utilize our programs to assist Mrs. Robertson. She qualified for our low-interest loan program and some limited grant funds to make some improvements to her home.”

USDA Rural Development funds were used to replace windows throughout her home and purchase and install new siding on the house. “It was a great experience,” said Mrs. Robertson. “Mr. Wetherbee helped me through the process.” She went on to add, “I had hoped for new windows but after talking with Mr. Wetherbee, I learned that I could get low-interest loan funds to replace the siding on my house as well. Thanks to this program, my house is much improved and these improvements will help me through the years with energy savings. It really was more than I’d ever hoped for.”

USDA Rural Development West Virginia State Director Bobby Lewis said, “We are excited to be celebrating National Homeownership Month in June. For more than 60 years, USDA has worked to increase homeownership opportunities for rural Americans through our housing programs.” Mr. Lewis went on to say, “Expanding and preserving homeownership is a major part of the foundation for a stronger, more prosperous rural America.”

Rural Development serves as the lead Federal entity for rural development needs and administers program assistance through its housing, business, community and infrastructure programs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)

Further information on USDA Rural Development may be obtained by visiting USDA’s web site at In West Virginia, call 1-800-295-8228 to be put in touch with the appropriate personnel serving your county. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at 202.720.2600 (voice and TDD).

Phone: 304.284.4860 OR 1.800.295.8228 • Fax: 304.284.4893 • TDD: 304.284.4836 • Web:

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